Please recommend a gift for a bookish friend

I have to find a gift for a friend who is a reader. She prefers, I think, lighter (non-psycho-butcher) mysteries and fantasy…and perhaps comedies of manners. For example, I think the Silence of the Lambs subgenre is out, and the vague descriptions I gave her of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire quite turned her off (too ruthless/bloody).

Agatha Christie, Lord of the Rings, Wallace and Gromit, Jeeves & Wooster are “in”.

I myslef haven’t been keeping up in that sort of literature for a while. Does anyone have any opinions and/or recommendations of books (or perhaps even DVD movies) that might appeal? Preferably something new or hard to obtain, as she’ll be likely to already have older stuff.

Thanks immeasurably,


Seems like Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell would fill the bill nicely.

If she hasn’t read them, the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series is good. Actually more comedy of manners than mysteries. Most of the time there isn’t even a murder. Alexander McCall Smith, the author, also has a couple of other series going and I think there is a new one with his Scottish detective, whose name I can’t remember at the moment.

Elmore Leonard, J.A. Jance and Carl Hiaasen are excellent mystery writers w/o much of the shock and gore. All are fairly prolific and probably have new books out. They all have good charactor development.

Just realized this might be a thread for the Cafe Society forum, although I am loking for opinions. Apologies to anyone who finds it mis-posted. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the suggestions so far! They look interesting. :slight_smile:


I love Charles de Lint.

Is she a fan of Sherlock Holmes? You might try The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. There are several in this series with Sherlock Holmes as an older man and his young female apprentice.

Why not the trilogy box-set by Dr. Michael Savage of “The Savage Nation” (a brilliant nationally syndicated radio talk show host that describes himself as being an independant conservative).

He’s on the radio in many parts of the country (USA) for three hours a day, five days a week.

Check him out – he’s the best! :slight_smile:

I’m an absolute sucker for Mercedes Lackey. I’ve read the entire Valdemar series at least 5 times. And it’s about 25 novels! It’s pretty light-hearted and fun to read in bed.

If she hasn’t read Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books, they’re hilarious.

I second him. He writes pretty light urban fantasy, with interesting, fun characters.

And how could I forget the **Thursday Next/b] series by Jasper Fforde. It’s about detectives who investigate “crimes against literature,” with plenty of nods to book-lovers. Probably find it in the fantasy section.

Check to see if she has a wish list.

From what I’ve read of Patricia C. Wrede’s “The Enchanted Forest Chronicles” they are funny, and enjoyable to adults. Does she own Ursula K. Le Guin’s "The Earthsea Quartet "? If she already owns those four, then maybe “Tales from Earthsea” or “The Other Wind” would be in order? (The Other Wind is excellent IMO.) I like Diane Duane’s “The Book Of Night With Moon”. “The Gratitude of Kings” as well as "Lythande"by Marion Zimmer Bradley are both good. Would she like The Cat Who series? Mercedes Lackey is a good author too, particularily her “Bedlam’s Bard” series. (But also her Halfblood Chronicles, which she wrote with Andre Norton.)

Adding, there is a fairly new book in the Bedlam’s Bard series too. :wink:

Dorothy Sayers.

Caroline Graham has a series of cozy English Inspector-type mysteries that I like. She has a way with peripheral characters and village life. There aren’t very many in the series and I was pleased to find the lasted one at the library today.

The Burglar series by Lawrence Block another fun and humorous mystery series. She should stay away from Block’s other series, though, with Matthew Scudder. Those are dark and nasty.

These are quite good. Heartily seconded.

I would love to have a Levenger book weight!

Just an alternate suggestion. How 'bout finding a reasonably well-written bok, but an antique book? Something from the 19th or early 20th century?

If you stay away from rare books, these can be sometimes purchased for a really reasonable price.

Only a thought. I did this once for a co-worker, an antique book on creatures of the sea and she loved it. The ol-time misconceptions only added to its charm.